The Tokyo stock exchange closed with a small profit on Friday. The Japanese sea transport companies, in particular, did very well in the hopes of a strong economic recovery from the corona crisis and an increase in profit expectations by the Danish competitor A.P. Møller-Maersk, the largest container carrier in the world.
The chip companies were also picked up after the loss a day earlier. An unexpected surge in US retail sales in August fueled optimism about the strength of the world’s largest economy.
The Nikkei in Tokyo moved 0.6 percent higher into the weekend at 30,500.05 points. Japan’s leading index has risen about 8 percent this month in hopes that Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga’s successor, who announced his departure in early September, will do more to boost economic recovery.
Container carriers Nippon Yusen and Kawasaki Kisen climbed more than 3 percent and 4.5 percent. Competitor Maersk said it could charge high amounts for shipping containers. Freight prices are rising sharply due to a combination of increasing demand for goods and disruptions in the supply chain due to the corona pandemic.
In Hong Kong, the Hang Seng index erased an earlier loss and was up 0.2 percent in the meantime. This week, the indicator has already lost almost 6 percent due to Beijing’s regulatory drive in various sectors. However, the casino companies, which came under considerable pressure this week amid fears of stricter regulations in the Chinese gambling paradise of Macau, showed some stabilization. Wynn Macau remained unchanged, and Sands China fell 2 percent.
Debt-plagued Chinese real estate developer China Evergrande Group (minus 8 percent) went down again in Hong Kong on lingering fears that the group will not meet its financial obligations. Should Evergrande fall, it will likely have significant consequences for the entire Chinese real estate market.
The All Ordinaries in Sydney lost 0.8 percent. The major Australian miners fell sharply due to the sharp drop in iron ore prices. BHP and Rio Tinto fell more than 4 percent. Fortescue Metals Group plunged 11 percent.